Happy Valentine’s Day from South Dallas!

We try to get together with our neighbors in bigger gatherings semi often! Holiday’s make that easy…and what woman, if given the opportunity, doesn’t take up an offer to celebrate the day of love?!!?  I hosted at my apartment and everyone chipped in with food.  It was nothing less than wonderful:)

I am so thankful to be here. As we were sitting around chatting together I couldn’t help but think about a sermon my pastor did a few weeks ago on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Diversity.  Today there were probably around 20 people squeezed into our tiny little apartment. A few have spent years in prison. A few have been addicted to drugs. Homeselxuality was the lifestyle of one. Self righteousness the life of another. Pride of another.  Some in church and have known Jesus their whole life. Some radically saved later in life.  There were babies yet to know the Lord intimately and women who have so much bondage to walk out of it sometimes feels hopeless. Today was a beautiful collision. In the sermon I continued to think about my pastor talked about coming together in settings such as these with various differences and backgrounds and how that makes visible the glory of God in some really spectacular ways.  On one side, you can have division.   Or what can happen is both can marvel in and glory in the forgiving, saving work of Jesus Christ. The glory of God is seen when those two mingle in such a way that they both celebrate the forgiveness made available for both of them in Jesus Christ. And then they serve one another and walk with one another free of judgment, worshiping the same Jesus. PRAISE. HIS. NAME.

I will never be the same or walk though life the same because of my time in South Dallas. I am unsure of how long I will live here or if something else will call me away. What I do know is that God has been so gracious to me by allowing me to live here among people that are different than me but love the same Jesus. I am being served well not only by my Creator, but by my neighbors.

So I started off by decorating in a really classy way:)

And we had really fun and good food!!!!!

And, I would like to just say that Papa Johns misleads you in the idea of “heart shaped” pizzas. Tell me this looks like a heart…because it really doesn’t. Major dissapointment!

We celebrated Alex’s bday!!!

This was one of the highlights! Our neighbor Brittney is marrying James! Their probation officer set them up! They are getting married on March 16th (3/16….as in John 3:16…yep! That is what they said.)  Anyway. They are so in love and she couldn’t make it to the party. He knew that so he showed up with a teddy bear for her and he wanted to sew a shirt for it. So, we helped him cut the pattern and we got out my sewing machine and he literally sewed that teddy bear a shirt. I am not joking people.  He is going to iron on letters that say “LUCKY” because he wants it to be her lucky bear.  He is such a sweet guy. All the little neighbor kids call him uncle James.

We told everyone to wear pink or red….and even puppies came dressed up!

This is my friend Shell. She is one of my neighbors and God has totally been opening up doors in our relationship! She goes to church with me two times during the week and usually is over several other times. My roommate is teaching her how to read.  I have been able to share the gospel with her two times and I am praying God would save her this year.  Please pray with me. Also pray for her health. We are in the process of trying to get her in to see a doctor.  Today she shared with the group that she was thankful for Jill and I because we were her best friends:) Melt. My. Heart.

I love a full house.

And I love when some of our guests are little people:) Her name is C-Money.  Yep…C-Money.

BUT…the highlite of the day was one of the women telling us about her time in prison and a rap that the Lord gave her as she was studying the story of Joshua.  I was crying by the end of it. I love the joy that these women share together. I love that they share it with us. I love that God saves people. I love how diverse He is.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Happy Valentine’s Day from South Dallas!

  1. nicole

    HA!! I love the rap!
    Ps. Ash, I love you! I love your heart for people and your heart for Jesus! Such an encouragement to see your energy and love for the people God has placed you around. Thank you for this post. Was a joy to my heart! Love you friend and excited to spend some more time together this summer……and maybe longer. Love you sister!

  2. Jess Caudle

    Ashley! I cannot even tell you how much this touched my heart. I love you, and I love watching the Lord work in you and in your community! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  3. Theresa Marble

    Totally agree this touches my heart. It was such a blessing to have Miss Pam share with us on Thanksgiving. I love it and I love that you let the Lord use you ( yes, Yes I did just say that even if I have NOT always felt this way). Our God is so mighty and his plans are not my plans BUT I am learning to trust Him in all areas of my life. It is apparent to me that he has a plan for you and you are RIGHT were you are supposed to be. Love ya…and HAPPY VALENTINES DAY ❤

  4. I love your life!! 🙂 You are so in your element….The Lord is going to do big things through you! ( He already has)

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